If a picture is worth a thousand words

August 15, 2010

When people are trained to sell, they are asked to consider carefully the words they choose to describe the products being offered.

There is an expression you undoubtedly have heard, "A picture is worth a thousand words." As someone who delivers sales training, I can attest to the truth of this expression on more than one level. I'd like to talk about a few of them.

When customers "get the picture," they will understand, at a much deeper level, the thought that the salesperson is attempting to convey. With this deeper level of understanding it is more likely for the customer to develop the desire to own the product being offered.

The customer, who has experience with driving, glare, and reflections should understand what is being offered.

A better way to create that image in the customer's mind is to use a picture. After all, we've said they are worth a thousand words. A picture can help create the needed mental image you are looking for, or can reinforce the one you have created verbally.

In the case above, using a photo of someone behind the wheel both with and without Polaroid lenses will help the customer to "see" what I'm trying to draw for them with words. Using a picture allows the customer to use their sense of sight, in combination with the sense of hearing and their imagination. From a selling standpoint, the more senses used the better.

Demonstrate your point

There is another expression I'd like to introduce to you. It says, "If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a demonstration is worth a thousand pictures."

When making a sales presentation, nothing is better than providing the customer with a demonstration. The demonstration allows the customers to experience what the product can do for them. This almost always will include the sense of touch and will cause the customer to evaluate the value of the product for his or her personal needs.

For Polaroid lenses, the demonstration would be to find a reflective object that is generating glare. Ask customers to hold the lens in front of them and turn it 90°. Ask them what happens when they do. They will report that the glare disappeared or was substantially diminished.

If I were making the sales presentation I would explain the benefits of this feature to the customer. For example, I might mention how much safer it is to drive without glare covering the windshield I would follow up with the question, "Wouldn't that be a nice feature to have while are driving?"

A well-thought-out set of demonstration samples that are used universally, along with well-crafted scripting, will increase dispensary sales.

Arthur De Gennaro is president of Arthur De Gennaro & Associates LLC, an ophthalmic practice management firm that specializes in optical dispensary issues. De Gennaro is the author of the book The Dispensing Ophthalmologist. He can be reached at 803/359-7887, arthur@adegennaro.com
, or through the company's Web site, http://www.adegennaro.com/. He maintains a blog at http://www.adgablog.wordpress.com/.